Israel-Palestine: Tension-Reduction Measures Urgently Needed – OpEd
By René Wadlow
The Association of World Citizens (AWC) calls for urgently needed tension-reduction measures in the Israel-Palestine-Lebanon area.
Tensions have led to a barrage of missiles from Gaza and Lebanon and rapid Israeli missiles in return aiming at weakening Hamas and Hezbollah.
Growing tensions had led to Israeli police attacking Palestinian worshipers celebrating the holy month of Ramadan within the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on April 5-6, 2023. The images of Israeli police firing teargas and beating worshipers were widely seen on social media outlets and other media.
Tensions in the area have been growing since the formation of the Netanyahu-led government with right-wing ministers. Government proposals for changes concerning the court system and the appointment of judges have led to strong and widespread protest demonstrations. However, Palestinian issues were not directly addressed by these demonstrations.
Tensions between Israel and Iran and Iranian-backed groups in Syria have also been growing. The dangers of further violence have been raised in the United Nations Security Council, but no positive actions were undertaken. United Nations peacekeeping forces in Lebanon are on “high alert”.
For the moment, there are no high-level public negotiations underway or planned. Thus, tension-reduction measures must be undertaken as unilateral measures by the government of Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and the government of Lebanon. Such tension-reduction measures are urgently needed but may be unlikely.
Thus, the AWC calls upon civil society organizations and persons of good will to consider what measures can be taken immediately and what structures may be established so that tension-reduction processes continue. This is an urgent call for creative and courageous actions.
Prof. René Wadlow is President of the Association of World Citizens.